Andy was dandy

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

When the goaltending is this good, all they need is one goal.

There's a reason the Florida Panthers have been riding goaltender Craig Anderson for the past three weeks.

Last night Anderson was outstanding, making 41 saves in the contest as the Panthers shutout the Oilers 2-0.

"He was awesome, he made it look easy," said Panthers forward Steven Weiss, who scored the first goal of the contest.

"He's been solid, playing that way for the past three weeks or so. He's still our best player."

Originally brought in to backup Tomas Vokoun, Anderson has started the last eight games for the Panthers and won five of the last six.

Last night, he was busy early as the Oilers were all over the visitors from on the onset.

But Anderson stopped all 13 shots he faced in the first and third periods and 15 in the second to record his third shutout of the season and seventh of his career. The Panthers were out-shot 41-16 in the contest.

Former Oiler Radek Dvorak capped off the victory with an empty-net goal.

"I thought we played a good road game," said Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer. "They had been off for four days so we knew they were going to throw a lot of speed at us. I thought we kept a lot of their shots to the perimeter and Craig handled the rebounds really well and when he didn't I thought our defencemen were unbelievable, especially (Jay) Bouwmeester who really controlled the game and kept Edmonton to the outside."

Anderson's biggest save of the night came on Ales Hemsky in the second period. The Oilers forward was sent in all alone by defenceman Denis Grebeshkov and tried to beat the Panthers goaltender low, but was unable to.

"He was coming in real fast," Anderson said. "Usually when a forward is coming in at full speed he doesn't have the advantage. In a shootout when they come at their own speed they have the advantage, but I just tried to read what he was going to do and I read shot all the way and I was fortunate he didn't get off the perfect shot and I was able to get a pad on it."

Earlier in the first period, Anderson had slid across to deny Lubomir Visnovsky on a one-timer from the slot.

Following the save on Hemsky, Weiss scored a power-play marker snapping a shot past Oilers goaltender Mathieu Garon.

"I just wanted to shoot it quick," Weiss said. "I think that was the key also Soupy (Gregory Campbell) being in front of the net is key. I think if the goalie sees it, he probably stops it."

Last night was the fourth shutout of the year for the Panthers and the fourth time the Oilers have been shutout this season.

Despite his heroics, Vokoun is expected to get the start in goal for the Panthers against the Calgary Flames. He is 5-10 this season with 3.04 goals against average and a .920 save percentage.

Anderson, meanwhile, improved on the 7-2-3 record, 2.09 average and .941 save percentage he had going into the contest with the Oilers.

"I'll do whatever is best for the team," he said. "If I don't play (tonight) I'll be cheering the guys on from the bench and getting ready for Vancouver (Sunday)."


Videos

Photos